13 Best Dog Foods for Chesapeake Bay Retrievers

By Kevin Myers | 2022 Update

Do you happen to own the ‘Greatest Duck Dog in the World’?

That is a fitting title for your Chesapeake Bay Retriever.

Chessies are known as the All-American Dog because they are one of the first breeds that originated in the US. They have the resilience to survive the extreme cold of the northern states as well as the summers of the south.

Aside from resilience, Chessies are also known for their intelligence. They are smart, active, playful, and they are obedient. But as I always say, if you want your dog to stay true to its breed, watch what you feed.

So, it’s all about your Chesapeake Bay Retriever and its diet. Based on your Chessie’s needs, I have created a list of the best dog foods for Chesapeake Bay Retrievers.

Let’s dive in…

The Best Dog Foods for Chesapeake Bay Retrievers

Top PicksCategory
1. American Journey Salmon & Sweet Potato Dog FoodBest For Adult Chesapeake Retrievers
2. Merrick Puppy Chicken & Sweet Potato Dog FoodBest For Puppy Chesapeake Retrievers
3. Nutro Ultra Senior Dry Dog FoodBest For Senior Chesapeake Retrievers
4. Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Chicken Canned FoodBest Wet Food For Chesapeake Retrievers
5. Nom Nom Chicken CuisineBest Fresh Food For Chesapeake Retrievers
6. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Recipe Dog FoodBest Premium Food For Chesapeake Retrievers
7. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dog FoodBest Budget Food For Chesapeake Retrievers
8. Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Boost Grain-Free Dog FoodBest Weight Gain Food For Chesapeake Bay Retrievers

1. American Journey Salmon & Sweet Potato Dog Food — Best For Adult Chesapeake Bay Retrievers

Ratings:

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Salmon, 2. Chicken Meal, 3. Turkey Meal, 4. Peas, 5. Sweet Potatoes

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,740 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 32%, Fat (min.) 14%, Fiber (max.) 5%, Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Form: Dry

This one’s another salmon based recipe on the top five list of the best dog foods for Chesapeake Bay Retrievers. This wholesome formula has a balanced ratio of fat and protein to keep your baby healthy, active, and strong. Plus, you get additional fatty acids because of flaxseed and sunflower oil.

It also includes carbohydrates sources from sweet potato and peas. Overall, this limited ingredient recipe packs a powerful punch of nutrients that will take care of its nose to tail health. You won’t have to worry about allergies and tummy troubles with this one.


2. Merrick Puppy Chicken & Sweet Potato Dog Food — Best For Puppy Chesapeake Bay Retrievers

Ratings:

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Chicken, 2. Chicken Meal, 3. Sweet Potatoes, 4. Potatoes, 5. Salmon Meal

  • Life Stage: Puppy
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,680 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 28% | Fat (min.) 16% | Fiber (max.) 4.5% | Moisture (max.) 11%
  • Form: Dry

Chesapeake Bay Retriever pups thrive on this grain-free chicken recipe by Merrick. With potato and sweet potato in the first five ingredients, your little Chessie will get a lot of healthy carbs essential for its healthy growth.

Not to mention, carbs add a lot of flavor to the meal, and your puppies will come running to the bowl everything you fill it with this formula. I also recommend this for pups due to the healthy dose of DHA, which is essential for the cognitive development of the young ones.


3. Nutro Ultra Senior Dry Dog Food — Best For Senior Chesapeake Bay Retrievers

Ratings:

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken, 2. Chicken Meal, 3. Whole Grain Sorghum, 4. Whole Grain Oats, 5. Whole Grain Brown Rice

  • Life Stage: Senior
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,385 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein min. 26% | Fat min. 13%, | Fiber max. 4% | Moisture max. 10%
  • Form: Dry

Nutro Ultra Holistic Superfood Blend is what it sounds like it is, a great recipe full of superfoods. Superfoods are a great source of antioxidants that kill free radicals. That is what your dog needs to prevent health problems that come with aging.

There is a good blend of micro-ingredients combined with healthy fiber that ensures proper absorption. Another great reason for me to recommend Nutro is the brand’s commitment to pure ingredients.


4. Blue Buffalo Homestyle Recipe Chicken Dinner Canned Food — Best Wet Food For Chesapeake Bay Retrievers

Ratings:

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken, 2. Chicken Broth, 3. Chicken Liver, 4. Carrots, 5. Peas

  • Life Stage: Puppy
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 1,190 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 10% | Fat (min.) 7.5% | Fiber (max.) 1.3% | Moisture (max.) 78%
  • Form: Wet

BLUE Buffalo Homestyle Recipe is another delicious option that will get their tails wagging for every meal. And it is rich in nutrition that ensures healthy physical and mental growth of your little one. Free of baddies like corn and soy, each can of mouthwatering homestyle recipe powerful poultry proteins.

Other ingredients such as carrot, peas, barley, and brown rice add all the minerals and vitamins your baby needs. Then you have superfoods like cranberries with antioxidants to support a healthy immune system. Overall, it is just what your pup needs.  


5. Nom Nom Chicken Cuisine — Best Fresh Food For Chesapeake Bay Retrievers

Ratings:

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Diced chicken, 2. sweet potatoes, 3. squash, 4, spinach, 5. sunflower oil

  • Life Stage: All
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 1,255 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 8.5% | Fat (min.) 6% | Fiber (max.) 1% | Moisture (max.) 77%
  • Form: Frozen

Nom Nom is the perfect choice for owners who strive to feed their Chessie the purest and most nutritious diet possible. The company offers ready-to-serve fresh food meals tailored to your dog’s age, breed, activity levels, and health history. Each meal plan is prepared according to AAFCO standards using human-grade ingredients such as diced chicken, sweet potatoes, squash, and spinach.

Their food is packed with nutrients, highly appetizing to even the pickiest eaters, and helpful in keeping your dog in good shape and weight. Your dog will also experience improved digestion, have more energy throughout the day, and no longer have allergies or sensitivity problems. Even though the food costs significantly more than dry food, it’s perfect for owners that want their Chesapeake Bay Retrievers to reach peak athleticism and utility levels. 


6. Blue Buffalo Wilderness Chicken Grain-Free Dog Food — Best Premium Food For Chesapeake Bay Retrievers

Ratings:

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Chicken, 2. Chicken Meal, 3. Peas, 4. Pea Protein, 5. Tapioca Starch

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,599 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein min. 34% | Fat min. 15%, | Fiber max. 6% | Moisture max. 10%
  • Form: Dry

I am a big fan of an ancestral diet for dogs, and Blue Buffalo gets it right with this recipe. The benefits include tons of animal protein. If your Chessie leans towards a large-sized breed and is very active, this one is my top recommendation.

What I love about Blue Buffalo is the patented LifeSource Bits, i.e., a unique blend of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants. Your baby will stay strong, active, and healthy in every sense of the word. I also love the fact that it has plenty of glucosamine, which is essential for large-sized Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, who are more prone to joint issues.


7. Taste of the Wild High Prairie Grain-Free Dog Food — Best Budget Food For Chesapeake Bay Retrievers

Ratings:

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Buffalo, 2. Lamb Meal, 3. Chicken Meal, 4. Sweet Potatoes, 5. Peas

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,719 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein min. 32% | Fat min. 18%, | Fiber max. 4% | Moisture max. 10%
  • Form: Dry

There can’t be the best dog foods list without at least one Taste of the Wild variant on it. And High Prairie is generally an option I trust. Even for large breed Chesapeake Bay Retrievers, High Prairie has the perfect ratio of fat and proteins.

It includes peas and potatoes to meet the needs of a highly active or athletic Chessie.  What’s more: Each bag of High Prairie has a strain of K9 probiotic, a proprietary blend to take care of your baby’s tummy.


8. Nature’s Variety Instinct Raw Boost Grain-Free Dog Food — Best Weight Gain Food For Chesapeake Bay Retrievers

Ratings:

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken, 2. Chicken Meal, 3. Peas, 4. Chicken Fat, 5. Tapioca

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 4,427 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 37% | Fat (min.) 20.5% | Fiber (max.) 4% | Moisture (max.) 9%
  • Form: Dry

This food from Nature’s Variety is another raw food option on the list. And this one is here because it has a perfect ratio of fat and protein.  Instinct by Nature’s Variety Raw Boost recipe is a grain-free option that is best for active Chessies with an athletic build.

It has everything your baby needs to look gorgeous and stay healthy. It is full of omega fatty acids and antioxidants. Moreover, there is a boost of probiotics to ensure smooth and trouble-free digestion. Not to mention, it is free of additives, grains, soy, corn, and peas.


9. Purina ONE Natural Weight Control +Plus Dog Food — Best Weight Loss Food For Chesapeake Bay Retrievers

Ratings:

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Turkey, 2. Rice Flour, 3. Soybean Meal, 4. Corn Gluten Meal, 5. Oat Meal

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,346 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein min. 27% | Fat min. 8%, | Fiber max. 12% | Moisture max. 5.5%
  • Form: Dry

If your Chesapeake retriever has gained excess weight and refuses to eat a new diet, perhaps the Purina One Natural Weight Control Dog Food would catch their interest. One of the reasons this food appeals to picky eaters is that it contains freeze-dried meat bites along with regular kibbles. These meaty morsels not only taste delicious but also give your dog a boost of amino acids for stronger muscles. 

To promote weight loss, the recipe is designed with fibers like oatmeal and whole wheat. These fibers offer loads of energy and pass through the system without accumulating in the form of fat. It also provides glucosamine to reduce the risk of joint complications in Chesapeake retrievers, and antioxidants to make them more resilient against diseases. It’s also rounded off with essential vitamins, minerals, and micronutrients. 


10. Natural Balance LID Sweet Potato and Venison Dog Food — Best Food For Chesapeake Bay Retrievers With Sensitive Stomach

Ratings:

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Sweet Potatoes, 2. Venison, 3. Pea Protein, 4. Potato Protein, 5. Canola Oil

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,340 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein (min.) 20% | Fat (min.) 10% | Fiber (max.) 5% | Moisture (max.) 10%
  • Form: Dry

This sweet potato and venison recipe is a bowl full of health and happiness for your Chessie. It is a limited ingredient grain-free option with healthy protein and carbs.

Plus, there are plenty of fatty acids because of the flaxseed in this recipe. It is indeed one of the lightest foods for Chesapeake Bay Retrievers with sensitive tummies. Plus, it is free of all known allergens, including grains and additives.


11. Nutro LID Sensitive Support Real Lamb & Sweet Potato Dog Food — Best Food For Allergic Chesapeake Bay Retrievers

Ratings:

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Deboned Lamb, 2. Lamb Meal, 3. Chickpeas, 4. Dried Potatoes, 5. Dried Sweet Potato

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 3,635 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein min. 20% | Fat min. 14%, | Fiber max. 3.5% | Moisture max. 10%
  • Form: Dry

Even though the oily coat of a Chessie rarely triggers allergy in humans, the breed itself is susceptible to food allergies. That’s why we recommend Nutro LID Sensitive Support Dog Food for such canines. The food is primarily designed with Lamb meat and Sweet potatoes, both excellent sources of amino acids and sugars that promote muscle repair and high energy levels. 

It’s free from all foods known to cause allergy in canines, including grains, dairy protein, chicken, beef, corn, wheat, and soy. Plus, the recipe is enriched with essential vitamins and minerals needed for immunity strengthening and optimal bone health.  After switching, your dog will develop a softer and shinier coat and experience improved quality of life.


12. Primal Chicken Formula Nuggets Raw Freeze-Dried Dog Food — Best Tasting Food For Picky Chesapeake Bay Retrievers

Ratings:

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken, 2. Chicken Livers, 3. Organic Carrots, 4. Organic Squash, 5. Organic Kale

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, large breeds
  • Caloric content (per oz): 127 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein min. 47% | Fat min. 25%, | Fiber max. 3% | Moisture max. 6%
  • Form: Freeze-Dried

Chesapeake retrievers are sporting dogs to their core, and it’s only deserving that they eat a diet crafted for hunting breeds, such as Purina Pro Plan 30/20 Dog Food. The formula features a 30% protein to 20% fat ratio, which is ideal for athletic dogs that need a muscular physique and more-than-average energy.

To develop this macronutrient ratio, the company uses premium-quality ingredients such as deboned chicken and beef fat that also add a ton of flavor. Apart from that, the recipe is also enriched with probiotics that promote gut bacteria and reduce instances of diarrhea. It features DHA and omega fatty acids to make your Chessie brighter and appear healthier as well.


13. Purina Pro Plan 30/20 Chicken & Rice Dog Food — Best Food For Active Chesapeake Bay Retrievers

Ratings:

Top 5 Ingredients: 1. Chicken, 2. Corn Gluten Meal, 3. Rice, 4. Beef Fat, 5. Whole Grain Corn

  • Life Stage: Adult
  • Suitable for: Small, medium, large breeds
  • Caloric content (per kg): 4,390 kcal
  • Analysis: Protein min. 30% | Fat min. 20%, | Fiber max. 3% | Moisture max. 12%
  • Form: Dry

Chesapeake retrievers are sporting dogs to their core, and it’s only deserving that they eat a diet crafted for hunting breeds, such as Purina Pro Plan 30/20 Dog Food. The formula features a 30% protein to 20% fat ratio, which is ideal for athletic dogs that need a muscular physique and more-than-average energy.

To develop this macronutrient ratio, the company uses premium-quality ingredients such as deboned chicken and beef fat that also add a ton of flavor. Apart from that, the recipe is also enriched with probiotics that promote gut bacteria and reduce instances of diarrhea. It features DHA and omega fatty acids to make your Chessie brighter and appear healthier as well.

Related:

Best Dog Foods for Chesapeake Bay Retriever Buyer’s Guide

Now you know the answers to all the questions you had in your mind, let’s get into a little more detail. As I always say, the more you know your dog’s need, the better you can choose for them.

So, let’s start with their needs.

Your Chesapeake Bay Retriever’s Dietary Needs

While Chesapeake is a medium-sized breed, you will find more people treating it as a large breed. Size may be one reason, but I think it’s also because of how much they eat. A grown adult male can eat around five bowls a day. It is best to keep it divided into three to two meals a day. Females might eat less, but it can still be around three bowls a day.

For puppies, they must be eating high-quality puppy food at least three times a day. They need more calories than adults because they are more active and playful.

Speaking of calories, while an adult needs around 1500 calories a day, puppies will need about 2000 calories. Keep in mind that those calories should come from meat sources.

Ingredients to Look for

As I said, you need to look for healthy balanced dog food for your Chessie. First and foremost, you need to look for a healthy balance of fat and proteins. Depending on how active your dog is, the fat content should be between 8 to 10 percent, while proteins should be more than 20 percent.

More on Fat and Proteins

Sources of fats and proteins are more important than the ratio. Make sure the proteins come from real meat. Novel protein sources such as rabbit, kangaroos, venison, and buffalo are just a few examples. While these options come with a heftier price tag, they provide all the essential nutrients along with supplemental ingredients that can prevent common diseases in your Chessie.

Glucosamine 

Although there are plenty of healthy ingredients besides the essential ones, glucosamine is the one I mainly look for in any best dog food for Chesapeake Bay Retriever. That is because this one ingredient can take care of my baby’s joints and bones better than any other component.

Omega 3 and Omega 6 

Your Chessie is susceptible to a few diseases related to skin and coat. Their curly coat, if too dry, can get tangled and will make your baby look messy. It is also a cause of discomfort for the dog, and it becomes difficult to keep a tangled coat clean.

Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids are like magic potions for your dog’s coat and skin. They also keep skin allergies at bay. Fish like cod and salmon are good sources of fatty acids.

DHA 

Docosahexaenoic Acid or DHA is another supplemental ingredient that is good for your Chessie’s wellbeing. Since the breed is susceptible to certain eye-related diseases such as progressive retinal atrophy, a healthy balance of DHA in the diet will keep the risks low for your pal.

Prebiotics 

Prebiotics help you keep your baby’s tummy free of troubles. They maintain healthy gut bacteria to ensure easy digestion and better metabolism. You can find dog food with prebiotics or sprinkle a prebiotic supplement of regular food.

Ingredients to Avoid

The first thing that you need to avoid for your Chesapeake Bay Retriever is bad carbs. Bad carbs come from sources such as soy, corn, wheat, and ingredients that have little nutritional value otherwise. These ingredients are also common allergens and can cause digestive problems.

Here I would like to mention that carbohydrates are still important to your dog. So look for healthier sources such as potatoes and sweet potatoes instead.

Other ingredients you need to avoid are additives – be it artificial color or artificial flavor.

Lastly, try to avoid any dog food that is overly processed or doesn’t have real animal meat as the first ingredient. It is why I usually recommend raw diet options such as freeze-dried dog food for Chessies. But you have to make sure you are following the proper method to help your baby transition from processed to raw.

Watching Weight

Chesapeake Bay Retrievers are active, but many aren’t busy enough to burn all the calories they consume. It is not exactly uncommon to find a Chesapeake Bay Retriever slightly on the heavier side. A study conducted in 2016 stated that nearly 45 % of adult dogs suffer from obesity.

You need to make sure you aren’t listening to your dog when it comes to the quantity of their food. Instead of measuring bowls, keep an eye on the calories consumed.

Keep a regular check on your dog’s weight. Place your hands on your dog’s belly while its standing and see if you can feel its ribs. If yes, then there is nothing to worry about. If no, then you need to make your baby work out a bit while switching to different dog food with more protein and less fat.

Now you know all there is to know about Chesapeake Bay Retrievers and their diet. It is time to take a look at the rest of the best dog foods for Chesapeake Bay Retrievers. Keep reading, and you will find several good raw options as well.


Chesapeake Bay Retriever Dog Food FAQs

Now before we move ahead towards the rest of my top picks for your Chesapeake Bay Retriever, let me answer some of the questions you might have on your mind.

What should I feed my Chesapeake Bay Retriever?

Like most dogs, Chesapeake Bay Retrievers do well on meat proteins. While chicken and lamb are good options, novel proteins like duck, venison, and salmon are better for their overall health. Ideally, their meal should have at least 20 percent protein and 10 percent fat.

Does a Chesapeake Bay Retriever need a large-breed dog food?

Chesapeake Bay Retrievers can be classified into middle or large breed dog depending on how big they grow. Some remain under 22 inches while others can grow up to 27 inches. However, most do well on large-breed dog foods as they need more protein to stay healthy and energetic.

How much should a Chesapeake Bay Retriever eat?

Chessies have a good appetite. A female requires around three bowls of quality dog food a day while an adult male Chessie will eat approximately five bowls. It is fine as long as your pet isn’t getting fat. However, this meal should be divided into three meals a day.

Can Chesapeake Bay Retriever become obese?

Yes, a Chesapeake Bay Retriever loves to eat, and it can eat more than it should. If their routine does not involve regular exercise, they won’t be able to burn all those calories. Obesity can lead to numerous other health issues.

How many calories does Chesapeake Bay Retriever need in a day?

Young Chesapeake Bay Retrievers need around 2000-2500 calories a day, but as their activity level decreases with age, 1500 calories are enough for them. Seniors can become even less active, and they might need 1200 calories or fewer.

Is Chesapeake Bay Retriever hypoallergenic?

No, Chesapeake Bay Retrievers are not hypoallergenic because they shed a lot. They may not shed as much as fluffier large breed dogs, but they still shed enough to cause allergies.

Do Chesapeake Bay Retrievers have a sensitive tummy?

Chesapeake Bay Retrievers are just as sensitive as other breeds. While they do not particularly have sensitive tummies, they are susceptible to bloating, indigestion, and stomach infections – if their food isn’t of the best quality.

Can food make my Chesapeake Bay Retriever lose hair?

According to a study, Chesapeake Retrievers are prone to hair loss as they grow old. However, the problem has little to do with diet as it is a hormonal issue. Ingredients such as additives and GMOs can often aggravate the problem.

Is a raw diet good for Chesapeake Bay Retriever?

Yes, Chesapeake Bay Retriever is a reasonably large breed that requires the right balance of protein and fat. Raw diets offer the best balance of these two essential nutrients. Just make sure you are getting the best raw dog food for your pet.

Is grain-free dog food good for Chesapeake Bay Retriever?

Dogs are omnivores by nature, and their diet does include some grains. However, most dog foods have low-quality grains that can cause allergies and trigger sensitivities. So, either choose grain-free for your Chesapeake Bay Retriever or go for food with quality grains such as brown rice.

Which ingredient is bad for Chesapeake Bay Retriever?

Avoid ingredients that have little or no nutritional value for your Chessie, which includes any kind of artificial additives such as coloring and flavor. Also, avoid filler ingredients such as soy, corn, and husk.

Does Chesapeake Bay Retriever need a lot of fat in the diet?

Depending on the activity level, a Chesapeake Bay Retriever may need dog food with around 8 t 10 percent fat from quality sources. Fat is what converts into energy your dog needs to enjoy an active lifestyle.

How long does Chesapeake Bay Retriever live?

A healthy Chesapeake Bay Retriever on a balanced diet can live up to 12 years. The breed is susceptible to hip dysplasia in later years but proper diet and supplements can help them enjoy a good life despite health issues.

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